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View Full Version : House Rules, d6ing it, and Sportsmanship...



Meriwether
07-09-2008, 17:52
A few caveats before I begin:

A. This isn't in response to any particular thread, but to a general trend that I have noticed when haunting the 40K Rules forum.

B. By 'sportsmanship' I do not mean some stupid score you get at tournaments, I mean being a good sportsman.

C. By 'house rules' I do not mean 'how we interpret fuzzy, unclear rules'. I mean made-up additions or omissions to the game.

Here goes:

Topic One: House Rules

House rules and agreeing with your opponent about things before a game is all well and good. Games set up with special rules, alternative scenarios, etc, etc, can be great fun, and really add to the hobby. Doing things amongst a group of friends and/or regular gamers is great -- although such things should probably be planned in advance.

However, when people show up to an LGS for pick-up games, I think that it is at best rude and at worst poor sportsmanship to introduce house rules at the beginning of the game.

Why? Because you put your opponent in the position of either (a) being a poor sportsman himself by wanting to play by the actual rules and insisting that you do so, or (b) agreeing to rules that change the game dynamic away from what he expects, just to make you happy. He came to play 40K, not 40K: your edition.

Topic Two: d6ing it.

On vague rules, some people seem to think that it is socially acceptable to insist that their interpretation is correct, and to force a d6 roll with their opponent. These people will get their way *more than* half the time, because sometimes their opponent will go along with it without the d6, and sometimes they won't but will lose the d6 roll.

I see this as a form of bullying to get one's own way.GW doesnt' write iron-clad rules (by a long, long, loooooong shot), but they do write _reasonably functional_ rules, and most of them are clear enough. Is it not much better, when it comes to vague rules, to *always* assume that it will be interpreted in the way least favorable to oneself?

I see the opposite happening quite a bit. House rule anything you don't like, and d6 anything that could be interpreted two different ways. These both seem like ungracious and unfair practices to me.

Thoughts?

Meri

Lord Damocles
07-09-2008, 18:05
I agree fully.



Erm... thats it.

Kaihlik
07-09-2008, 19:37
Which is why I never use house rules and try to understand the actual rules as much as possible. People may think i'm rules lawyering sometimes but I find it easier to know the rules and stick to them than to remember how each of my opponents likes to play things.

A group once came to my local GW to play after theirs was closed and expected us to play their house rule instead of the actual rule(which they got wrong). I simply pointed out the actual rules in the rulebook and that was how it was played without any need for house rules or D6ing it.

Xenobane
07-09-2008, 20:12
Topic Two: d6ing it.

On vague rules, some people seem to think that it is socially acceptable to insist that their interpretation is correct, and to force a d6 roll with their opponent. These people will get their way *more than* half the time, because sometimes their opponent will go along with it without the d6, and sometimes they won't but will lose the d6 roll.



I agree; the "roll for it" solution for rules disagreements has always felt utterly unsatisfactory to me. Do I have to trust in a 50/50 chance to ensure that my opponent can't fleet and assault out of a transport, just because he insists on it? I would actually rather tell my opponent that I'm backing down in order to finish the game, rather than roll a dice and legitimise terrible rules interpretations. Taken to its logical extreme (and you just know there's someone out there...) the rule allows cheating: an unscrupulous player can re-write the rule book with a 50% chance of success. In my opinion this part of the rulebook betrays a willful naivite on GW's part. Of course things usually work ok with two sportsmanlike players, but not everyone approaches the game with that attitude. Is it too much to ask for the rules to protect your average player against unscrupulous opponents?

TheLionReturns
07-09-2008, 20:23
I am a big fan of house rules. I think they add to the game and the hobby in general in a massive way. However, I would never dream of trying to impose them on someone I am playing for the first time. House rules are really a way of bringing variety into games with a regular opponent or gaming group in general. I just don't think they are needed in a one off new game, nor is using them in such circumstances particularly polite.

I also agree to an extent with your D6 point. I too am likely to go with an opponents interpretation simply out of a sense of sportsmanship and for a pleasant game. This is quite rare in my experience although I don't play against new opponents that much. I don't feel cheated if an opponent wants to roll a D6 though. It may mean that they get their way more than 50% of the time but I doubt many people look at employing it in this cynical way, but merely view it as a simple and easy way of solving a dispute.

the1stpip
07-09-2008, 20:30
I'm useless at remembering rules, and often try using 2nd ed rules.

But this is down to me not remembering, and not trying to cheat. I am often pointed out to that my interpretation is wrong (recently this was the ordnance scatter 2d6 - BS or not).

We check the rulebook if we are not sure, and on the rare occasion, it is not there, we d6 it. Thats it.

I don't mind being shown I am wrong in the rulebook. Whether I am in the majority or not, though, I don't know.

RCgothic
07-09-2008, 20:55
I've only been to one tournament. in my second game I came up against a person who didn't know the rules but was really bullish about his point of view. He made me feel so bad about pointing out the rules that I stopped doing it, just to get the game over faster.

Needless to say I was annihilated by 3 broadsides firing 6 shots re-rolling misses, his moving models locked in base to base combat away from my power fists etc.

Not much fun at all. I thoroughly enjoyed my other 2 games, but this guy soured the whole thing.

Templar Ben
07-09-2008, 21:35
As far as house rules, I don't generally go to someone I don't know and suggest a house rule but I don't know that I wouldn't if I had a good reason. Something like "I modeled it this way under 4th edition, with the rule changes is it okay if we play it this way until I can correct it" just to keep things moving.

I would not object out of hand to someone wanting to try a house rule. That is the spirit of 40K.

On the d6 issue, that is a non-issue for me. I just do what Jervis said. I just say yes. Worst case, I get wiped out on turn 3 because of your crazy rules and then I never play you again. Best case, the game proceeds smoothly and we become friends.

Either way, I win.

zanotam
07-09-2008, 22:54
In my gaming group, we have house rules, but those are only to fill in the gaps left by the rule book and resolve situations that are not well handled.

Pundabaya
07-09-2008, 23:08
I thought that D6ing it was only in cases where rules directly conflict with each other. I think it was first mooted back in 2nd edition, where, with the right wargear, you could have an attack that ignored all shields going up against a shield that was unbreakable. I forget which combination it was, (I think it might've been the Vindicare Assassin versus some bit of Eldar exotic wargear.) but the answer that was given was to D6 it for each and every occurrence to see which one takes precedence.

Which is how I'd run it in games where it came up. Every time that particular rule conflict came up, roll a dice to see which interpretation is used. Then, if one interpretation blatantly favours one side, they can't roll a dice at the first time it comes up, and then plan around the result. Consistency be damned, its a war out there. Random things happen.

Bunnahabhain
07-09-2008, 23:50
I see rolling for someof those rules questions as a perfectly sensible way to resolve them.

If a reasonable discussion of the issue with you opponent doesn't get you anywhere, try asking around for precedent from related issues, or just agreeing on a common sense, answer, even if it doesn't follow the rules exactly.

For some things, a good example is the current discussion of spore mine vs living metal, there really is no answer until a FAQ emerges, so rolling a D6 to decide is as good as any.

So long as it's done in a civilised fashion, I really don't see a problem at all here.

Zingbaby
08-09-2008, 04:25
House rules and agreeing with your opponent about things before a game is all well and good. Games set up with special rules, alternative scenarios, etc, etc, can be great fun, and really add to the hobby. Doing things amongst a group of friends and/or regular gamers is great -- although such things should probably be planned in advance.

However, when people show up to an LGS for pick-up games, I think that it is at best rude and at worst poor sportsmanship to introduce house rules at the beginning of the game.

Why? Because you put your opponent in the position of either (a) being a poor sportsman himself by wanting to play by the actual rules and insisting that you do so, or (b) agreeing to rules that change the game dynamic away from what he expects, just to make you happy. He came to play 40K, not 40K: your edition.


I totally agree. I've come across this a few times actually. In both cases we had the "alpha-nerd" guy running the show (league organizer, and store owner) and everyone else had to play by 'their' version of the game. In either case I totally disagreed with their rules. Yeah it is really annoying...

byteboy
08-09-2008, 09:06
I play the game, not the rules. The d6 roll off is a great way to keep the game going while also keeping the atmosphere positive. It's a neutral thing used to squash any negative irregularities between two people playing a game of plastic toy soldiers.

House rules should be discussed at the beginning of the game so both people are on the same page. Most of the these are for long campaigns or someone experimenting with a cool idea/theme.

Again, this for "sit back & chill" games, not "grind your opponent into paste" games.

Master Stark
08-09-2008, 09:14
I also agree fully.

destroyerlord
08-09-2008, 10:41
When we are unsure of a rule I usually just let it favor my opponent. We don't play often and don't have a large gaming group, and some things become a little fuzzy after a few drinks anyway, so thats how we roll. Why should I get hung up on a tiny occurrence when I'm having fun anyway? I do understand that this is not a particularly satisfying way to play against whining 12 year olds however... And I've never played in a formal situation. Don't tournies have judges? Seriously 6 twin-linked rainguns?

pringles978
08-09-2008, 11:31
Topic 1: house rules are for home only games, my long term opponents and i have evolved our own set of house rules we are all happy with but would never take to a lgs or even games club.

Topic 2: if it shuts up some whinging rules lawyer, ill roll the dice, but only if no clear rule exists/cant find a staffer. if i feel my opponent is being an ass, i just wont play him again. but id rather just roll and get on with the game.

SPYDER68
08-09-2008, 14:34
Im gonna come out and say it, house rules are dumb, there is a rule book for a reason.

Most people's so called house rules effect some armies to help them, yet hurt other armies but dont realize it.


IF you do have house rules, and a random person comes in to play, house rules should not be in effect, since only you know them and they are not in the rulebook.

D6'ing is the best if you have a rules question you cannot find in the codex or rulebook, thou in 5th weve found very few, most is over what terrain counts as what.

Meriwether
08-09-2008, 15:04
Something like "I modeled it this way under 4th edition, with the rule changes is it okay if we play it this way until I can correct it" just to keep things moving.

With the LOS changes I have no objection to this and would say "yes" if asked... but at the same time, it sits badly with me. The rules say TLOS, and now I have to remember that models X, Y, (and maybe Z, A, B, C, and K-X) are "really" positioned another way?

So I'm mildly conflicted about it. I'd say yes if asked, but don't think people should ask...


I play the game, not the rules. The d6 roll off is a great way to keep the game going while also keeping the atmosphere positive. It's a neutral thing used to squash any negative irregularities between two people playing a game of plastic toy soldiers.

If that were true, I'd agree with you 100%. The problem is that it isn't neutral because it isn't 50% (because people will 'just say yes' often enough, and only d6 it if it's egregious/ridiculous), *and* that it can (and has) been used for Easter Egging on a reasonably regular basis. There have been quite a few dicussions on Warseer where at least one person has said something to the effect of "We're gonna do it my way, and if he has a problem with that we'll d6 it." In my mind, that's bullying, does not promote a positive atmosphere and does not squash irregularities.


Im gonna come out and say it, house rules are dumb, there is a rule book for a reason.

I disagree on this one. House rules are great, if you know what you're getting in to ahead of time. In some cases rules are so vague that you have no real choice but to come up with a house rule just to clarify (Glamour of Tzeench, Kharn in a unit vs. Lash, etc.)

House rules should be avoided against new opponents, and for official tournaments and whatnot, wherever possible. But some "house clarifications" are necessary, and for friendly-with-pals games house rules can really add a lot.

So they're not _stupid_, depending on what they are, and the context in which they are used.

Meri

SPYDER68
08-09-2008, 18:07
When you have people make house rules to make up for a couple vague rules is when you have problems, instead of saying oh.. were not sure thats kinda vague on lash, glamour etc, you do your best to actually find the correct ruling.

I dont see Glamour of Tzeench a house ruling type , a "vague Ruleing" can be saw as different things.

As in your gaming group thinks the rule works this way, and another random person comes in and says it works different. That is not a house ruling, that is a rules mis interpritation. If you dont think the rule works that way then why would you let him try using it a different way vs you and having a chance to completly change the game or what the rule really is.

To me a "house Ruling" would be like that other thread of "Fearless" units, they dont like the 5th edition with it so they are going to completly change the rule and play it as they want as a "house Rule", making it a completly different rule in other aspects of the game and a good chance to change the units strengths.

So it being that of my version of what i consider a "house Ruling" i consider them dumb.